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2015, 95m, fantasy, horror, romance
Viro comes back to the Saha World repeatedly in search for Chloe, his lost love. But his evil entity is not allowed to stay in this world as the COJ and Taven will hunt him down whenever he is discovered.
The hostility is brutal, and the challenge of being with Chloe again seems impossible. People are being manipulated to do him harm, and they spread evil words about him, generating fear among others.
So the only way for him to stay together with Chloe, and stop the cycle, is to fight back!
10 questions with Taven director, Teli Share at the half-way mark.
Friday, June 3rd, 2016
1Hi Teli! Thanks for being a part of our 2016 Spring Festival! First, what was the initial inspiration behind Taven? Taven is what I called an “experimental thesis”,. There were just a lot of experimenting going on because of the limited resources, and it took us well over a year to complete the principle shoot.
I wanted to introduce a philosophy concept called “Turning Poison into Medicine”. What it means is all negative things can be used as the driving force for someone to muster something good, something positive in him/her to strike forward, to fight back, or to stand back up. So what it appears to be poison at first will turn into a healing medicine. The key is, only if the person makes up his or her mind to recognize it.
That’s why the character Taven has a skull face. It is sort of like a reverse superhero power that only when the possessor who has the right mind can use it for the good.
2Taven was written by Teli Hseuh. What was it about the script that made you want to direct it and what was it like working with him? It is actually the same person. I've begun using Share as my last name because it is the closest word in the English vocabulary that matches close enough sound (try pronounce Hsueh, I bet you can't do it right.) As far as the script is concerned, I have definitely come to understand more about how to create something interesting and entertaining. I will hope to continue to improve on myself.
3Taven was your first feature film. How did you know you were ready and what prepared you? It was probably fair to say that it took several years of experience in making smaller projects to eventually lead to the decision of doing a feature film. It was extremely daunting, when I look back at it now. But it was perhaps the stubbornness and foolishness that pushed us through. I don't recommend it to anyone with a sane mind though.
4Which filmmakers are your greatest influences? Ang Lee's perseverance was a good inspiration. Otherwise it is really more because of the films rather than the filmmakers.
5This is a highly ambitious film full of special effects, fight scenes and fantasy elements. Why did you choose to make such an ambitious right out of the gate? It was a very ambitious film, for what we had to work with. What I wanted to achieve was how we could make supernatural power to appear as naturally as possible (taking into the consideration of how one may be able to manipulate air molecule, pressure, temperature, etc). The whole purpose of the fight scenes was to endorse entertainment while trying to get some philosophical messages across.
6Can you share a war story from the shoot? Actually, one thing that I was pretty proud of was that fact that I did not really have any conflict with anyone I worked with on this project. Of course, there were moments when I wanted to curse or punch someone in the face, but I held myself together as I believe harmony was really essential in the success of completing the project.
7It's seems like where in a time where Hollywood is getting lots of criticism for their lack of diversity amongst their cast. I love that your film features a predominately Asian cast that goes against the traditional roles usually selected for Asian men. What are your thoughts on this? Frankly speaking, Hollywood (or society in US as a whole) never really endorse Asian leading roles. People are still very much fixated on the traditional stereotype about Asian people. So making Taven was really in a way just for our own purpose. The society is just not ready still.
8You act in this film as well. What was the biggest challenge for you when directing and acting? The biggest challenge for doing both the acting and the directing is the ability to switch job roles on the set. The required focus for each job differ vastly, and it was hard to switch in and out of the position. While it was an unforgettable experience, I would not do it again, and I admire those who can do both very well at the same time.
9What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? "Open Water" was really the true inspiration that allowed me to believe in the ability to make a feature length film with the right creativity. The director and writer Chris Kentis' experience really gave me the confidence to envision producing a film of my own.
10What's next? After Taven and a few more other projects, I am now working on building content channels on both YouTube and the new Amazon Video Direct (and perhaps a few other online platforms) where I will like to exhibit new, more sophisticated productions. Over the years of polishing on my craftsmanship as a filmmaker, my biggest wish is to be able to show good, entertaining works, and subsequently establish my fan base.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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